Internet advocacy group OpenMedia is calling on the telecom regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, and has also launched an online petition to support its cause (via CBC News).
OpenMedia’s Katy Anderson dreams of “uncapped, unlimited, affordable plans”, as reported by CBC News, which also highlights how internet usage and bills have increased in Canada. The CRTC has data from 2013 and 2014 only, which already show a notable increase in average bills.
While a cell phone bill was, on average, $79 per month in 2013, this jumped to $83 in 2014. The 2015 numbers aren’t available yet, but they will likely show an increase, just as did telecom company revenue.
The Canadian wireless market was worth $22.5 billion in 2015, up 7.5% compared to 2014, according to the available CRTC report.
CBC News cites a Vancouver cell phone user who pays about $100 per month for a Rogers plan with 3 GB of data. The problem is that he often pays extra for going over his limit, with the bill going as high as $250 a month. Since he refuses to change his monthly plan to one with a larger data allowance (he wants to stick to his $100 per month budget!) he dreams of a perfect world where he can keep his costs down without having to censor his phone use.
But that’s not how incumbents see it.
“For many customers, the usage-based approach is by far the most economical option,” said spokeswoman Caroline Audet in an email to CBC News.
Rogers’ take is that unlimited data would be detrimental to its customers. “The network capacity isn’t there and it would weaken performance for everyone,” said spokesman Andrew Garas in an email.